Indonesian rescue teams continue their search todau (Monday) for 78 people still missing at sea, after their ferry ran into bad conditions, took on water and sank near Sulawesi island on Saturday night, officials said.
Rescuers have pulled put 39 survivors and three dead from a passenger boat that sank in central Indonesia after being buffeted by high waves, and were battling bad weather Sunday to reach others still missing.
Hopes are fading for 78 people still missing from a ferry that sank off Indonesia's eastern island of Sulawesi, officials say.
The New Marina (Marina Baru), a fiberglass boat, was carrying 109 passengers and 10 crew members as crossed the bay on Saturday afternoon, from Kolaka, in Southeast Sulawesi province to Siwa, in South Sulawesi province. Nineteen children, including 14 babies, were on board.
The boat sank 22.5 km (24 miles) off the coast of Wajo district in South Sulawesi, officials said.
Operational chief of the local search rescue agency Ivan Ahmad Rizki Titus said the National Search and Rescue Agency was deploying a helicopter and boats, while the navy was sending in warships to join the rescue efforts. He added that a CN-235 aircraft of the air force joined
the search Sunday.
The acting chief of the Kolaka port authority, Muhammad Yunus, said the Marina boat was seaworthy when it left for the estimated six-hour voyage.
The vast Indonesian archipelago, consisting of more than 17,000 islands, is heavily dependent on ferry services
, but the industry has a poor service record and fatal accidents are common.
Indonesian boat accidents have killed hundreds of people in recent years. Boats are often overcrowded and safety regulations are poorly enforced.